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Wayfaring Stranger Hymn Lyrics and History

Origin of Wayfaring Stranger


This song has been around for over 200 hundred years blessing millions of Americans in both the secular and the religious world.

It is difficult if not impossible to pinpoint the exact origin of this North American folk song.

We have some historians saying that they can trace this song to the 1780s while others trace to the early 1800s.

Who Wrote Wayfaring Stranger


The jury is still out when it comes to the composer of the Wayfaring Stranger. Some people think that it is a reworked Negro spiritual.

Some think that it could have come the Portuguese colonialists.

Others think that it could be a reworked native song.

The fact is this song has now become one of the most loved gospel folk songs in America.

Many Versions of Wayfaring Stranger and Use by Secular Musicians


As with many folk songs, there are so many versions of this hymn floating around in America.

It has been adopted by musicians of all sorts of backgrounds to present their message to the world.

Prominent and famous musicians have made this folk song their own.

In the 1940s Burl Ives made "Wayfaring Stranger" a signature song in his album.

Other musicians such as Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, and Johnny Cash have given their take on this hymn in their albums.

The latest to play around this folk song has been British pop star, Ed Sheeran. He has popularized a near Acappella-and-vocal version of "Wayfaring Stranger" on YouTube.

Wayfaring Stranger Hymn Original Lyrics


Below are the lyrics of one of the versions of Wayfaring Stranger.


1 I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger,
I’m trav’ling through this world below;
There is no sickness, toil, nor danger,
In that bright world to which I go.
I’m going there to see my father,
I’m going there no more to roam;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

2 I know dark clouds will gather o’er me,
I know my pathway’s rough and steep;
But golden fields lie out before me,
Where weary eyes no more shall weep.
I’m going there to see my mother,
She said she’d meet me when I come;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

3 I want to sing salvations story,
In concert with the blood-washed band;
I want to wear a crown of glory,
When I get home to that good land.
I’m going there to see my brothers,
They passed before me one by one;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

4 I’ll soon be free from every trial,
This form will rest beneath the sod;
I’ll drop the cross of self-denial,
And enter in my home with God.
I’m going there to see my Saviour,
Who shed for me His precious blood;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.



For more links to pages on this blog with some more hymn stories and lyrics visit here.

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